Malik A Respected Leader, Not A Criminal: Rashid


SRINAGAR — Former legislator from Langate constituency in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district Sheikh Abdul Rashid Saturday said the Centre would be responsible if anything bad happens to JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik who is in Tihar Jail.

“Malik is not a criminal. He is a leader, a soldier of the people who respect him. Whether we like his ideology or not, we warn New Delhi not to play with fire… If anything bad happens to Malik, the responsibility will be on the Government of India,” Rashid told reporters here.

A Delhi court last week sent Malik to judicial custody till May 24. He was arrested in a case related to alleged funding of separatists and militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir.

Rashid, who heads the Awami Ittehad Party (AIP), said the low poll percentage in parliamentary polls should make New Delhi understand that the separatist leadership “has its routes deep in masses and their voice cannot be muzzled by force”.

“Be it banning Jamaat-e-Islami or JKLF, nothing will change on the ground unless New Delhi realizes significance of resolving Kashmir issue,” he said.

The former MLA said his party would take out a protest march outside Civil Secretariat on Monday the day it opens in the summer capital here as part of the bi-annual darbar move — against the alleged failure of the government to provide basic immunities to people, arrest of youth, “state suppression against pro-resistance leadership” and for seeking revocation of ban on the Jamat-i-islami and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) .

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